Tag Archives: Performance

Multitasking… Bad for you, but good for your kids

  1. It has always been thought that multitasking leads to poor performance, but that idea may now be a thing of the past.  Researchers have found the opposite to be true for adolescents.
  2. During the study, it was found that young high-media multitaskers were better at weeding out distractions but performed worse when asked to focus on a single task. Low multitaskers were less able to filter out distractions but seemed to focus better on single tasks.
  3. The study shows that people who have grown up with a lot of different media devices have developed an improved working memory and seem to perform better in distracting environments.

What do you think this is going to affect as younger generations join the workforce?

Source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-10/aaop-rtb100314.php

Get your Assets in Gear… The Activity-Achievement Correlation

  1. New research has linked higher levels of physical activity with superior academic performance among grade-schoolers.
  2. More activity at recess correlated with reading prowess and involvement in organized sports added up to arithmetic superiority.
  3. Interestingly, the results didn’t seem to matter much amongst the females in the study. Are girls generally more active to begin with? Less innately competitive? Or just naturally smarter all around?


  • Maybe it’s time to get out of our offices, get up off our collective Xbox-es, turn off SharkTank and move around a little…
  • Maybe my first boss was wrong when he said, “Never mistake activity for achievement!” But you can’t blame him–he wasn’t a girl.

Always look forward to hearing from you…write me and tell me your thoughts…

Source: http://www.uef.fi/en/-/runsaasti-liikkuvat-pojat-lukevat-ja-laskevat-paremmin-kolmena-ensimmaisena-kouluvuotena?redirect=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.uef.fi%2Fen%2Fhome%3Fp_p_id%3D101_INSTANCE_9vsFge3Ut5NJ%26p_p_lifecycle%3D0%26p_p_state%3Dnormal%26p_p_mode%3Dview%26

Older Adults… When Will They Pay Attention to You?

  1. A study in the journal Psychology and Aging has shown substantial differences in brain function throughout the day for older adults.
  2. A group of younger adults (aged 19-30) and a group of older adults (aged 60-82) participated in a series of memory tests with built in distractions.  During the test, each participant’s brain was scanned to show which areas were activating.  During the 1-5pm test, older adults were 10% more likely to get distracted.  However, they performed noticeably better during the morning test and were even shown to activate the same areas of the brain that the young adults did.
  3. This information shows that as a person ages, they are better able to focus and ignore distractions in the morning than in the afternoon; suggesting that more mentally-challenging tasks be scheduled earlier in the day.

Food for thought regarding when and what you talk about, at what time of the day, and with whom–depending on age (started sounding like Dr. Seuss there for a minute!)

Source: http://www.baycrest.org/research-news/older-adults-have-morning-brains-study-shows-noticeable-differences-in-brain-function-across-the-day/

Experts: Born or Made?

  1. Most people believe that “experts” are made, the product of deliberate practice rather than born out of innate ability (think Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule for his 2008 book Outliers).
  2. A new Princeton University study suggests the amount of practice accumulated over time does not seem to play as big of a role as originally thought in terms of skills, capabilities or performance.
  3. The study did show a positive relationship between practice and performance, but practice only accounted for about 12% of individual differences.
What do you take away from this finding?While practice may be a lesser component of success–12% can be a game changer.  The difference between winning a gold medal in downhill skiing and coming in well off the podium may only be fractions of a second. The difference between winning the Green Jacket in golf and placing well into the pack, may only be a few strokes.Your call…does practice make perfect or is it just wasted effort?

Source: http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/becoming-an-expert-takes-more-than-practice.html?utm_source=pressrelease&utm_medium=eureka&utm_campaign=expertisepractice

Memory and Exercise

  1. A new study by researcher from the University of New Hampshire suggests that recalling past exercise experiences can motivate people to hit the gym more.
  2. “These results provide the first experimental evidence that autobiographical memory activation can be an effective tool in motivating individuals to adopt healthier lifestyles,” the researchers wrote.
  3. Researchers suggest that exercise programs that explicitly encourage participants to activate emotional memories as a motivational tool could result in longer lasting increases in exercise activities.

Source: Mathew J. Biondolillo, David B. Pillemer. Using memories to motivate future behaviour: An experimental exercise intervention. Memory, 2014; 1 DOI: 10.1080/09658211.2014.889709

Work and Creativity

  1. A new study suggests that creativity outside of work can enhance job performance
  2. Creative activities outside of work seem to directly enhance the ability of employees to problem solve and help others on the job
  3. Researchers suggest organizations can encourage employees to pursue creative hobbies outside of work by sponsoring contests and offering discounts for supplies

Source: Kevin J. Eschleman, Jamie Madsen, Gene Alarcon, Alex Barelka. Benefiting from creative activity: The positive relationships between creative activity, recovery experiences, and performance-related outcomes. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 2014

Performance and Work Environment

  1. Attempts to change the social or physical workplace environment do have positive effects on work-related outcomes
  2. Changes to the social environment seem to lead to better work performance
  3. Changes in the physical environment seem to help workers concentrate

Source: Effectiveness of a Combined Social and Physical Environmental Intervention on Presenteeism, Absenteeism, Work Performance, and Work Engagement in Office Employees. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2014

Intuition and Ability

  1. New research suggests that very simple numerical exercises (like determining how many pencils are in each pile of pencils) can significantly improve children’s math solving ability
  2. In the study, first graders who estimated the amount of objects in a pile did approximately a grade better on a subsequent test than the control group
  3. The study is one of the first to demonstrate how cultivating intuition in children can lead to enhanced mathematical performance
Source: Daniel C. Hyde, Saeeda Khanum, Elizabeth S. Spelke. Brief non-symbolic, approximate number practice enhances subsequent exact symbolic arithmetic in children. Cognition, 2014